I haven't been writing
much lately. I'm
thinking it's time I did. There are a good number of things I'd like to
get back to work on; some of you might have preferences or suggestions.
Part the First: Once and Future Posts
There are several series of themed posts I'd like to get back to work on.
I suppose I might be able to put out one or two -- not one of each, though
that would be really nice -- every week. We'll start with the ongoing
series -- there's a lot of meta work that needs to be done, like a landing
page, tagging the strays, and so on.
Not to mention copying them onto my website, and working out a way to host
them there and have them crosspost onto DW, LJ, etc. rather than the other
The longest-running series of blog posts so far is The River -- posts
here tend to be introspective, on sub-themes like friendship, love
(whatever that is), stress, depression, and the care and feeding of
geeks. If you want to start at the beginning, it's here at
I'm going to keep going with this, of course. At one point I was thinking
of gathering the posts between 2008 and 2010 or thereabouts into a book,
with the title Two Years On the River, but of course never
got around to it. Plausible?
Most of these articles never got onto LJ; it's a series of
artcles on my website over a decade ago. This is mainly about Linux.
Other articles along that line include Adventures in Family
Computing. Repost them on DW? There are also a lot of computer and
networking posts that could easily fall into this category.
I could probably put things like cooking, woodworking, and my post about
how to load a dishwasher under here.
This one really needs some organization. I've written about several of my
"things", including luggage, laptops, and musical instruments, but the
only tagged one at the moment is The Hartmann bag.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I should get back to it. Even
though it quickly became rather a lot of work, it had and has the
advantage of being based on (but be careful always to call it please)
research rather than originality.
It occurs to me that I could easily fill this in by posting some of the
notes/backstories of my songs. Hmm.
In addition to writing more of these, I need to go back and consolidate
the tags, since I see that I've also used "songs" and "poems" in a couple
Should I post highlights from the past? Dredge up some of the poetry I
wrote in college and type it in? Grovel through the usenet archives?
This is a project I've been thinking about for a couple of years now; I
seem to recall making a bit of a start in a River post. You see, my use
of language tends to be a little, shall we say, idiosyncratic. Words and
phrases like "sorry" and "working on it" could easily generate a longish
Part the Second: Fiction
I've always wanted to write science fiction. I've always been pretty bad
at it. This may be something I could work on. There are two longish
pieces that were, at one point, almost "finished" in the sense of having a
beginning, middle, and end, with a semblance of plot in the middle. Both
would require a fair amount of work.
This is probably the closest thing to a finished story, best described as
the back story to my song The Rambling Silver Rose (and something of a sequel to Bound For Hackers'
Heaven. It's 700-odd lines; maybe serialize it here? That would be
good for a couple of posts. What's a good size?
Bound For Hackers'
Heaven isn't just a song; it actually came out of a story that I wrote
back in 1988. Along with several others, some of which are on my CD.
And it's part of the backstory to Silk and Steel. It has
a lot going for it, and it needs a nearly-complete rewrite. I mean, 1988.
It's written as a series of forwarded emails. The absolute minimum that
could be done to fix it would be to change the framing to make them blog
posts, pin down the dates (in 2030 and 2038), and change the author of the
cover letter from Lexy to the viewpoint character, Lady Melody. Who is
an AI built into a guitar.
On the other hand, a rewrite would be a pretty big can of worms to open --
the temptation would be to fill in more pieces of the blog, and to tie
it in with S&S (which takes place at least seven years later, and
there's a huge hole in between). (It's also 150 years before
Rose; the Lady is still around, of course, and so is Hacktown, which gets
a brief mention.)
But it would be fun. I think.
Part the Third: Longer Non-Fiction
Of course, any of the post series could turn into a book, though not all
of them would benefit from such treatment. Here we turn to the few
projects that were planned from the start as books, and are far enough
along to actually have a hope of getting finished.
Neither of these is on the web, and both are written in LaTeX (which isn't
an insurmountable problem -- there's a LaTeX-to-HTML converter which I've
used quite a lot).
The BIG Number Book
This is actually pretty much finished, and has been since 1999, except
that it's meant as a kids' book, so it needs illustrations. A large
number of them.
The Magic Mirror
If Rambling Rose is the back-story behind The Rambling Silver
Rose, The Magic Mirror is the back-story behind The World Inside the
Crystal. Inside the computer is a world where magic works.
I really need to get back to this. The oldest commit log message, from
1998, says "initial checkin of Aug 18, 1996 version". The only thing
after that is a minor spelling correction. So, yeah. Needs updating.
There's an outline and the chapter heads, but it's very incomplete. And
of course it predates most of what we think of as the Web.
So there you have it.
Thoughts? Did I mention that I tend to get paralyzed when I have too many
choices? Yeah, that. Did I also mention my recording projects? I did
not. Those have been stalled for a few years, too.
Sometime soon, maybe even this week, I should post something more about
where I intend to go from here. Getting the nonfiction books onto the web
might be good places to start, though it's always tempting to spend time
revising, editing, and organizing rather than actually writing.
I don't have a very good track record with New Year's resolutions, either.